Jeter returns to Yanks

TAMPA, Fla. – Derek Jeter returned to the Yankees this afternoon and is scheduled to be in the lineup tonight at shortstop vs. the Red Sox.

“I’m excited to get back to playing every day,” said the Yankees captain.

Jeter wasn’t required to be back until Thursday, but he said he wanted to start playing every day and get back with the team as soon as possible.

“Physically I’m fine,” Jeter said. “It’s good to get back and get into a routine of playing every day because we had a lot of offdays in the tournament. We had two or three days between games sometimes. There’s a reason you play every single day.”

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Jeter added, “I’ll have plenty of time.”

Jeter said while Team USA got farther in the tournament than in 2006, “It was disappointing for everyone. Yeah, we made it a little bit further, but it’s still disappointing.”

Jeter said he spoke to injured Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez on the phone while with the US team.

“He’s obviously a vital part of the team. But just like when anyone else gets hurt, you can’t sit around and say we’ll wait for them to come back. You’ve got to play without him, that’s the bottom line. You can’t get caught up sitting around saying we’ll just wait until he comes back.”

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